Palazzo Dario

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The facade of the Palazzo Dario on the Grand Canal
Rear of Ca 'Dario seen from Campiello Barbaro

Palazzo Dario or Ca 'Dario is one of the most famous palaces in Venice . It is located in the sestiere (district) of Dorsoduro and is located directly on the Grand Canal at the beginning of the Rio delle Torreselle. The body of the palace is built in the typical Italian Gothic style, which was very common in Venice, but the facade facing the Grand Canal is clearly Renaissance .

The building was commissioned from the architect Pietro Lombardo by Giovanni Dario, Secretary of the Senate of the Republic of Venice, in 1479 and completed by one of his successors in 1487. When Giovanni Dario died in 1494, Vincenzo Barbaro, son of Giacomo Barbaro and biological nephew of Giovanni Dario, inherited the palace. This Barbaro, who was also the owner of the palace of the same name , which is located near San Vio , had married Marietta, the biological daughter of Giovanni Dario. The Barbaro family remained in possession of the palace until the beginning of the 19th century when Alessandro Barbaro (1764–1839), member of the last council of the Ten of the Republic of Venice and “Consigliere Aulico del Tribunale Supremo di Verona ”, sold it to an Armenian trader sold.

The Palazzo Dario is often described as one of the most characteristic palaces of Venice and compared to the famous Ca 'd'Oro . Its particular beauty piqued the interest of John Ruskin , who described the marble decorations in great detail. The neo-Gothic balcony was added in the 19th century. The rear facade to the Campiello Barbaro shows Gothic arches "a quint'ordine". Because the building is sitting down, the left part of the facade slopes noticeably.

In 1908 took advantage of Claude Monet , the building as a template for a series of paintings, all from the same perspective, but in different lighting conditions, as is typical of the Impressionism is one of these paintings is now in a permanent exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago to see . The high chimneys of the building in typical Venetian style are among the few examples from that era that have survived to this day.

One of the last works on the interior decoration was carried out in 1977 by Giorgio Pes (set designer for The Leopard ) on behalf of the owner.

The palace is privately owned and not open to the public.


In Venice, the name of Palazzo Dario is always associated with the tragic fate that seems to haunt the owners, starting with Giovanni Dario, who initiated the construction. His daughter Marietta is said to have killed herself after her husband's economic collapse; her husband was stabbed. Their son, Vincenzo, also ended tragically in an ambush on Candia (Crete). At the beginning of the 19th century, the Barbaro family sold the palace to Arbit Abdoll, an Armenian jewelry dealer who went bankrupt shortly after he moved there. In the decades that followed, another owner, Radon Brown, took his own life with his significant other within the palace walls, probably as a result of the scandal their relationship caused, which was indecent at the time. The palace was later bought by an American named Charles Briggs. He was also forced to flee Venice because of ongoing rumors about his homosexuality. He fled to Mexico, where his lover died by suicide.

Among the possible buyers in 1964 was the famous tenor Mario Del Monaco , who broke off the negotiations when, while he was in Venice to conclude the purchase agreement, he was the victim of a traffic accident that left him handicapped for a long time.

In the 1970s, the then owner of Palazzo Dario, Conte Giordano delle Lanze, was killed by a blow to the head with a vase inflicted by an 18-year-old Croatian seaman who lived with him. This then fled to London , where he in turn was murdered. The palace was then bought by Christopher "Kit" Lambert, manager of the rock band The Who , who died shortly afterwards in a fall in London; in this case, too, there is speculation on suicide.

At the beginning of the eighties the Palazzo Dario was bought by the Venetian businessman, Fabrizio Ferrari, who lived there with his sister Nicoletta: he too went bankrupt shortly afterwards; his sister died in a traffic accident.

At the end of the 1980s, the palace was bought by the investor Raul Gardini , who actually intended to give it to his daughter as a present. After a series of economic setbacks and his involvement in the Tangentopoli scandal , the financier took his own life under circumstances that were still not entirely clear. The palace was not for sale for a long time. Today it is owned by a large American corporation.


Coordinates: 45 ° 25 ′ 51 ″  N , 12 ° 19 ′ 56 ″  E